Q&A with ‘An Absurd Result’ podcast creator Jule Banville

A podcast created by University of Montana journalism professor Jule Banville about the 1987 rape of Linda Glantz and the wrongful conviction of Jimmy Ray Bromgard was released on most listening platforms today. Banville told us about the podcast and what inspired her to tell the story:

Jule Banville in the booth recording “An Absurd Result.” (Photo courtesy of Jule Banville)

What is the podcast about?

Jule Banville: The podcast is a seven-episode narrative that primarily focuses on Linda Glantz, who survived the 1987 rape that led to the conviction of Jimmy Ray Bromgard. Jim was the first person in Montana exonerated via post-conviction DNA by the Innocence Project. He served nearly 15 years. After his release in 2002, the DNA that freed him hit on another man arrested on a marijuana charge. The story shows how the justice system got it wrong in Jim’s case and how that also led to a continued lack of justice for Linda.

What inspired you to tell this story?

Jule Banville: I met Linda in 2015 when she was in a kind of limbo. She knew the name of the man who left his genetic material in her childhood bedroom in Billings, but the prosecutors weren’t charging him and she didn’t know why. I was inspired by her and wanted to tell people why.

What do you hope people take away from the podcast?

Jule Banville: In significant ways, various and confusing statutes governing sex crimes haven’t caught up with science. The DNA that can prove a wrongful conviction regardless of how much time has passed might not prove as useful once the clock on a sexual assault expires. I hope listeners who, like me, appreciate the important work of the Innocence Project and all its chapters, also pause to think about people like Linda, the victims of the original crimes. 

Listen to “An Absurd Result” below or on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and other listening platforms: